Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I protect my design?
Your design or other types of original work can be stolen and used without your permission. As an owner of the work, you
can forbid this type of illegal use of the intellectual property, but for this, you need to have a proof that you
are the author or have the licensing rights to the original work.
Protected.design allows you to easily create such proof on the blockchain, without the need for third parties
or complicated registration procedures. Blockchain-based proof is immutable and incorruptible, and it never expires.
How does Protected.design work?
When you select a file, Protected.design generates the unique ID (SHA-256 hash) that represents that file. The ID is generated
on your local device. The file itself is not uploaded to the internet, and its contents are not seen by anyone. This unique ID
represents your file's integrity. There is no other file in existence with the same ID.
You can also include a text message to be added to the blockchain next to your design's ID.
The app then allows you to add the ID and the text message (if provided) to the Ethereum transaction on the blockchain and it shows the date when this data
was added. This blockchain based information is immutable and incorruptible, and it never expires. By having this information on the
blockchain, you have a proof that the design file, represented by the particular ID, existed prior to a specific date and that you are
its author. You can then use this proof to legally defend your original work.
For this service, Protected.design charges a US$5.00 fixed fee. This also covers the fee of the Ethereum transaction which is
paid by Protected.design directly to the Ethereum network.
A free version is also available. Designs submitted every week for free protection are then grouped and protected
together in a single transaction every Sunday GMT 00:00. In this case, Protected.design covers the transaction fee.
Example: John selects a design with the ID “d4c8a0fe65951c6531017761146d5a716b073e64” and then adds the message “© Jordan Whitfield”.
When he adds this design's data to the blockchain, he gets the transaction number, in this case 0x7f78d6890f85639f9d4c66401f6b9e9cb62256266440e146d07a3a8478e8ed90.
He can view this transaction on
(or any other Ethereum block explorer). The data of his design was added to the transaction's “Input Data” field, first the design's file ID and then
the message. The message is then viewed when converted to ASCII mode.
If Protected.design shuts down or be otherwise unreachable, what will happen to my design's protection?
Even if Protected.design is somehow unreachable, your design's protection is never lost. It can be easily viewed and verified
directly on the Ethereum blockchain, bypassing Protected.design entirely.
Can the design's protection expire?
Your design's protection has no expiration date - it is permanent. Even if Ethereum blockchain stops adding new data,
it will still be archived and be accessible for as long as we can imagine.
Can someone change or corrupt my design's protection or can it be lost in any way?
The unique quality of the blockchain is that it is immutable and incorruptible, and because of its
the data you add to the blockchain can never be lost.
Theoretically, there is always a chance that a previously-unknown flaw of blockchain will be discovered or that some
new technology will make it obsolete, but since the beginning of blockchain technology (2008), this has never happened,
even though there were countless attempts
to break it one way or another.
Is blockchain-based design protection accepted as legally valid evidence in courts around the globe?
Yes, it is. Below is the excerpt from an Oct. 13, 2017
published on the Grant Thornton website.
"With expert testimony, the purely mathematical strength of a blockchain certificate can be presented in court everywhere.
The main concern, however, is that the application is also not yet widespread enough to prescribe legal validation.
Thankfully many countries are already taking the necessary steps, having recognised the convenience of the blockchain as a public registry.
Legislators in many countries such as the US, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, UK and Dubai are pushing forward several initiatives to
acknowledge evidence and records based on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The EU is heading in the same direction, and
the current eIDAS regulation (an EU regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the
internal market) already prohibits courts from denying the legal admissibility of timestamps as evidence on sole grounds that the
timestamp does not meet the more stringent requirements of an EU-qualified timestamp."
Here is another promising recent article
from the World Intellectual Property Organization.
How can I prove that I am the author of a particular protected design?
There are three ways you can do this:
1. You can include the author's name in the message field. The message will be added to the blockchain next to the design's ID.
The message can only be in ASCII
and maximum 64 characters long. On the blockchain, it is presented in hexidecimal format and can be viewed in plain text
when converted back to ASCII.
2. You can add the author's name on the design's image itself.
3. You can keep the original file, never share it, and when you need to prove the fact that you are the owner, you can verify it on Protected.design
or directly on the blockchain.
How can I defend my design if I see the infringement?
If someone is using your design without your permission, use a cease and desist letter to make a formal request for them to stop ("cease") and not
continue ("desist") this behavior. Open your protected design's page to generate a cease and desist letter and then send it to the person or company
infringing your intellectual property rights. Attach your original design and screenshots showing where/how the infringer is using it without your permission.
After receiving this letter, if the infringing person or company does not cease and desist, then you should contact the authorities who can take
action against the infringer. For example, if your design is being used on a website, then send the letter to the hosting provider of that website.
If your design is being used on YouTube, Facebook or any other social media site, then contact the support for that site, or fill out the copyright
The same cease and desist letter can be printed and sent to a physical address, preferably as a certified letter.
What kind of designs can be protected?
Any kind of original works that fall under copyrights law can be protected.
Apart from copyright protection, you can also protect ideas, sketches, prototypes... even though ideas, in general,
are not eligible for copyright protection, you can still use blockchain proof to show that you are the author of the idea.
This can be significant proof, if not on legal grounds, then at least on moral one.
What's the big deal about not disclosing a design file's contents?
As mentioned earlier, when you select your design file, it is not being uploaded to Protected.design servers or disclosed to anyone
in any way. For the visual preview, the design is loaded from your local disk or the external URL that you provide. Protected.design
never stores your data or your files. The only data we store, is your design's ID, your file's size, the message (if provided) and
Ethereum transaction hash. This data does not reveal your identity in any way (if you do not reveal it in the message) and it
does not reveal your file's contents.
This is important firstly because it allows your design's protection to function independently of Protected.design.
Secondly, there can be many cases when the owner does not want to disclose the contents of a new and unique design or idea. This
non-disclosure is guaranteed by the technology of Protected.design. You can check our source code on
to verify this.
How is my design's ID generated? Is it enough to add just the ID to the blockchain, and not the file itself?
The ID is a SHA-256
You can generate this hash independently as SHA-256 is a well known and standardized hashing algorithm.
When you hash a file, you get a unique string that represents the integrity of your file. If you change your file even slightly, the
hash that represents that file will be completely different. If you can prove that a particular hash existed on a specific date,
it means that the design file, represented by that hash, also existed.
You can create a similar SHA-256 hash from your file without the need of using Protected.design, e.g., by using this online
SHA-256 hash generator
Adding the file's hash (ID) only is entirely sufficient proof of the design's protection, because there is no other file in
existence with the same ID. To add the whole file to the blockchain is possible, but that would be highly unpractical. Firstly,
because of the privacy reasons - the file's contents would be revealed to everyone. Secondly, adding data to the blockchain is
very expensive due to the distributed nature of the technology. To add the whole image file to the blockchain would cost
thousands of dollars.
How is the design's visual preview generated?
When the user selects a design file from a local device, the file is not uploaded to Protected.design but stored locally in the browser's cache
and the preview is loaded from this stored file. If the user refreshes the page, the local cache clears, and the preview disappears.
When submitting a new design for protection, the user can also provide a link to the same file. If the file is in .png, .jpg, or .gif format and is not
bigger than 15 MB, it will automatically be loaded in the protected design's page. While the design's status is “Waiting for payment”, the link can be
modified - just submit the same file again, but with a different preview URL.
If the user removes the file from the URL provided in Protected.design, then the design's page will load as if there is no preview
file URL provided.
Alternatively, the preview file can be added to the link after the "?" sign. Our back-end PHP script will fetch the file and generate its hash (ID). It then checks it
against the particular design's ID, and if they match, it then sends image file data back to the front-end to render the preview. Even though the file is
fetched by our back-end script, it is never saved on the server. All traces of the file on our server disappear as soon as the session ends.
My question was not answered here. How can I contact Protected.design?
You may contact us by e-mail: email@example.com